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#03-13-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

Alaska residents decry permitting bill
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:00 am
Matt Buxton
JUNEAU — “Extremism,” “anti-democracy” and “legislative trash” were just a few of the phrases Alaskans used to describe a controversial permitting bill that was resurrected by the Parnell administration this week. The Senate Resources Committee would have heard even more creative descriptions for House Bill 77, but many dozens still were waiting for their two minutes to testify when chairwoman Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, promptly ended testimony after the allotted 90 minutes passed. Testifier after testifier, whether it was from Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau, Mat-Su, Kodiak or one of the state’s many other....
11:29 AM WED MARCH 12, 2014
"Sockeye Market Analysis" Report Released
A new report shows that Bristol Bay produced 31-percent of the world’s commercially caught sockeye salmon last year. That’s down significantly from previous years. The new “Sockeye Market Analysis” report was prepared by the McDowell Group for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association. The report shows that global sockeye production declined 17-percent last year down to 290-million pounds. Bristol Bay made up 31-percent of that total, which is down from the 45-percent from 2010 to 2012. The McDowell group notes that prior to 2013, Alaska typically accounted for 70-percent or more of the global sockeye production. Last year Bristol Bay produced 92-million pounds of sockeye. The new report shows....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
In the Bering Sea, Cold is Key to Fish Food Abundance
When it comes to providing good nutrition for very young pollock in the Bering Sea, there’s nothing like cold winter-spring temperatures to boost production of zooplankton with the larger lipid reserves they need for survival. Over the past seven years, from 2007 through 2013, the Bering Sea has experienced an unusual sequence of cold winter-spring temperatures, in the wake of six warm temperature years, from 2000 to 2005. Sea ice extent in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013 were close to record extents not seen since the early 1970s, in contrast to the warm years of 2000 through 2005, except 2002, according to a report on ecosystem considerations compiled by the Alaska...

Coast Guard suspends search for missing mariner near Unimak Island, Alaska
March 13, 2014 U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Public Affairs

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard suspended the active search for a fisherman 10 miles north of Unimak Island in the Bering Sea Wednesday.

Coast Guard and good Samaritan crews searched 64 square miles for a total of 10 hours.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 17th District command center received a report from a good Samaritan aboard the vessel Seafreeze Alaska Wednesday morning that a crewmember of the 87-foot fishing vessel Seeker, based in Newport, Ore., fell overboard.

The watchstanders immediately directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward deployed to Cold Bay and redirected the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley crew from a routine patrol near Unalaska to the scene. The Jayhawk crew completed one search of the area, returned to Cold Bay to refuel, and then completed a second search. Shortly thereafter the Alex Haley crew arrived on scene to assist in the search.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the missing man,” said Chief Petty Officer Chris Cole, a 17th District command center watchstander.  “The decision to end a search is one of the most difficult choices to make as a search and rescue controller.”

TCC convention delegates pass resolution to give tribes bigger voice in fisheries
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:00 am
Jeff Richardson
FAIRBANKS – Delegates to the Tanana Chiefs Conference convention took aim at declining king salmon stocks Wednesday, passing a resolution that would curtail commercial fisheries and give tribes a greater voice in fisheries management. King salmon runs have declined on the Yukon River in recent years, which has led to limits on subsistence fishing in the state’s largest river. Those cuts have frustrated many village residents, who say commercial fleets should face more limits before subsistence users are....

YK Delta Halibut Quotas Halved
By Ben Matheson, KYUK - Bethel | March 12, 2014 - 6:01 pm
The statewide halibut and black cod season opened last Saturday. When YK Delta fishermen participate in the Community Development Quota allocations this summer, they will see their halibut quota cut nearly in half.....

Nuvista Board Shelves Chikuminuk Dam Project
4:50 PM TUE MARCH 11, 2014
Nuvista says it recognizes the political and economic hurdles in front of the project, and would rather shift focus towards more near-term solutions. DILLINGHAM: On Wednesday, controversial house bill 77 will be back before the Senate Resources Committee. It has undergone some revisions, but one thing that has not changed, at least yet, is language authorizing a feasibility study for a dam at Chikuminuk Lake in the Wood Tikchik State Park. The Chikuminuk Dam project has itself been controversial since it was introduced to the public in the spring of 2012. Many residents in the communities...

Homemade robot takes high rez images of ocean floor
March 12, 2014
by Laine Welch          
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch.  Viewing the sea floor in High Def. Learn more after this....

Bill sets rules for how Alaska law enforcement can use unmanned aircraft
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:00 am
Matt Buxton
JUNEAU — With more and more unmanned aerial vehicles flying in Alaska’s skies, the Alaska House passed a bill setting rules for how law enforcement can utilize unmanned aircraft in day-to-day work. House Bill 255 sets standards for law enforcement aimed at protecting Alaskans’ privacy as well as authorizes the University of Alaska to develop an unmanned aircraft systems training....

Tech tools are good, but legislation is needed to battle fish fraud
MARCH 13, 2014
WHILE IT is encouraging to see companies like Red’s Best and Open Ocean Trading pioneer technologies that can trace our fish from boat to plate, a systemic approach is needed to guard against the global threat of seafood species fraud (“Fish get pedigrees, the high-tech way,” Business, March 10).....

Drought May Force California to Move Salmon by Truck
By Zoƫ Schlanger
Filed: 3/12/14 at 1:01 PM
The California drought is now so dire that the state government might move millions of salmon by truck to be nearer to the ocean next month. Historically, state-run salmon hatcheries have trucked fish to different locations to protect them from hazards like pollution and predators. Now it’s the dangerously low water levels in rivers that are posing a threat. Millions of juvenile salmon are normally released from the state-run Coleman National Fish Hatchery into the Sacramento River in April and May, where they migrate along the river and into the ocean. Officials worry....

Rollout of cellphone alerts in Washington has problems
By The Associated Press
Zona di Tsunami...
(Photo credit: marcomazzei)
Published: March 9, 2014, 3:09 PM
TACOMA -- A system set up to send emergency alerts to thousands of cellphone users warning them of natural disasters and missing children has experienced problems during its rollout in Washington state, the News Tribune reported Sunday. The mobile notification system has helped authorities find at least two missing children as a result of Amber Alerts sent to cellphones in the state. But it also mistakenly warned people in the lowlands of Western Washington of a blizzard that was happening in the Cascade Mountains, and it alerted others in Western Washington of....

With snow crab biomass in Barents sea 10 times king crab, Russia plans commercial fishery in 2014
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [Barents Observer] by Trude Pettersen  March 13, 2014
Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea. Norwegian and Russian scientists have been monitoring the population of snow crab in the Barents Sea since.....

Broken undersea telecom cable: Greenland seeks Canadian culprit
Tele Greenland goes after Fisheries and Oceans Canada for information in Halifax court
CBC News Posted: Mar 13, 2014 7:27 AM AT
Greenland's largest telecom company has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Halifax, trying to force Fisheries and Oceans Canada to reveal which fishing trawler damaged its subsea cables. The cables crisscross the ocean floor so people can make overseas phone calls or surf the web on the other side of the world. The cables are....

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#01-14-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

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